PORTLAND, Ore. – Undercover agents in a sting operation arrested a Somali-born teenager just as he tried blowing up a van full of what he believed were explosives at a crowded Christmas tree lighting ceremony in Portland, federal authorities said.
The bomb was a fake supplied by the agents and the public was never in danger, authorities said.
Mohamed Osman Mohamud, 19, was arrested at 5:40 p.m. Friday just after he dialed a cell phone that he thought would set off the blast but instead brought federal agents and police swooping down on him.
The FBI affidavit that outlined the investigation alleges that Mohamud planned the attack for months, at one point mailing bomb components to FBI operatives, whom he believed were assembling the device.
It said Mohamud was warned several times about the seriousness of his plan, that women and children could be killed, and that he could back out, but he told agents: "Since I was 15 I thought about all this;" and "It's gonna be a fireworks show ... a spectacular show."
Mohamud, a naturalized U.S. citizen living in Corvallis, was charged with attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction, which carries a maximum sentence of life in prison. A court appearance was set for Monday.
rest of story here
2 cents: I am sure if this would have occurred in a real small city/town it would have succeeded. Targeting a city with a FBI presence whose agents were apparently adequately trained is what saved those people. Central to a successful terrorist attack is the planning by someone who actually understands and knows our culture, government, and systems which is what makes Anwar al-Awlaki the most dangerous of terrorism planners currently. His publication which I did review is quite alarming because he does explain simple, easy ways based on US culture to achieve successful terrorism attacks. In essence what he is providing for terrorist wannabees is a publication for free sharing his knowledge and wisdom. The publication was so troubling that I quit reading it and deleted it.